Many businesses are turning to Internet fax because of its cost savings, green environmental benefits and flexibility. Like any business service, finding the right internet fax service provider is a matter of compatibility. What works for one company may not for another. So the next step after deciding that Internet fax is best for their business is to consider which provider is the best for their business. Three things to consider are cost, reliability, and features.
A quick search on the Internet will show you a listing of internet fax providers that offer services both paid and for free with certain restrictions. The downside to free fax providers is that the service is funded with ad ware. In addition to the paid third party advertising on the fax documents, the free ware can also carry limits on the number of faxes a user can send or receive. Some providers only allow in-coming faxes. In terms of using a fax for business purposes, free or discounted providers are not recommended to project a company's sense of professionalism.
The typical ad-free internet fax service charges in one of a few different ways: price per month, price per page or price per minute. Some providers charge a monthly fee, which can be based on a contracted length of service. As with any contract enforced service agreement, the user should read the fine print. While a lower monthly fee may entice a company, the lower amount can sometimes be offered in conjunction with the cost of an upfront provider membership due or with committing to an extended contract. Also, with a monthly service contract check for limits on the number of faxes sent or received within the month.
A price per page plan is going to bill you for each page faxed out or received. Many Internet fax providers bill in this way. As with any provider, check for any contract obligations and limits. Some providers will include a number of pages with their plan and then charge an overage for any pages outside of those limits.
For price per minute plans, there will be charges associated for the actual minutes used on the line while sending and receiving your faxes. Again most providers will include a certain amount of minutes with your system and then charge an overage rate. The price per minute providers will tell you that you can send approximately 2 fax pages per minute. Do the math if you are comparing a price per minute and price per page plan and see what will actually be most cost effective for your business. If one provider is charging 5 cents per page and another is charging 5 cents per minute, you will be getting a better deal with the price per minute provider.
Cost is only one factor that you want to consider when deciding which Internet fax provider to go with. Another important consideration is the reliability of the service. Traditional faxing requires transmission over a telephone line which has lead to fax users dealing with inherent telephone line problems. From busy signals to the aggravating failure of a fax not going through or the document being truncated, traditional faxing has its share of headaches. Internet fax offers the reliability of a digital internet connection - a business doesn't have to worry about their customers getting a busy signal when trying to send an important document or paper jams and other hardware malfunctions. However, the Internet is still technology and things can go wrong. Ask your prospective provider what their reliability is like and how long they have been in business. If they can't tell you what their uptime is, move on.
Lastly check that the features you need in an Internet fax service are there for you. Some common features include, toll free or local numbers, faxing to multiple recipients, receiving more than one fax at a time, fax to email, and the ability to archive faxes online.
Once you decide that Internet fax is best for your business, it's time to find the best Internet fax provider. With a little research and by asking the right questions, you will find the right match and be on your way to enjoying all the benefits Internet fax has to offer.